When in Rome, do as the Romans do

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Over-crowded streets, buildings, endless waiting lines outside restaurants, this is Causeway Bay Hong Kong on Saturday evenings. I encountered this kind of embarrassing moments several times, in MTR, restaurants, some busiest places in this city.

This evening, I arrived at the reception of one popular restaurant, when the receptionist was helping around somewhere else. Two girls came after me, they spoke in Putonghua, “No need to get a ticket, we can directly walk in.” They were stopped as soon as they got in by the receptionist who turned up suddenly. I still stood close to the reception desk, crying out in Cantonese, “Please, two people here!” She started to write a ticket “No. 58”, giving to those two girls. I cried again, “We are here first!” The girls said, “Give her. It doesn’t matter.” and pretended they were generous. My husband couldn’t bear any more, he shouted, “Do you misunderstand? We were here first, the ticket should be ours. You were jumping the queue, and you can’t say ‘it doesn’t matter’.”

The experience was not pleasant at all. We couldn’t help getting crossed for going through this moment that tourists jumped the queue without any regrets, which was a topic covered in Apple Daily frequently. I can’t cover up this behavior, or say any good words to describe them. They were just two tourists out of 43 million from mainland China in recent years.

I convinced one mainland tourist at Hong Kong MTR Station, when she was ready to eat a plum. “Inside the station, it’s not allowed to eat or drink.” She took my advice, getting plums back into her bag.

I also once sat with one family at one table in Tsui Wah restaurant. When the dad wanted to change the diaper of his baby on the table, I told him the toilet was at the back of the restaurant. He immediately took his baby to it.

I even saw two mainland tourists who didn’t pay when getting on bus. The bus driver stopped the bus and came to tell them in Cantonese: “Please pay the fare!” They hardly can understand it and sat astoundingly. I volunteered to translate for them in Putonghua. Finally, the problem was solved.

I was glad at these moments that gave me a sense of hope. The loose regulations on the mainland make people there not to follow strict rules when needed. I also can understand when they are in a strange city where people speak a difficult-to-understand language, they are afraid to ask questions, start conversations. The attitudes, feedback from local people may be hurting or apathetic. This is not a reasonable explanation for any misbehavior happening outside China. “When in Rome, do as the Romans do.” This is the thing.

Hong Kong’s streets have been changed; shops of the same brand or franchise are replacing traditional food restaurants. Sasa, Chow Tai Fook, TSL, and pharmacies pop out in the shopping district instead. No one can deny that all this results from increasing mainland Chinese tourists pouring into the city. They like to purchase milk formula, jewelry, cosmetics, and other fast-consumed products. And they like to buy a lot. The rents are rocketing at an unbelievable speed. Another noodle restaurant behind Sogo department store is to close on January 29th.

I love this city. It gives me an environment of fair competition, clean streets, high-standard food quality, international cultures, freedoms, and many other things I can’t enjoy on the mainland China.

This fact deeply worries me that Hong Kong becomes highly reliable on the tourism from 2003, especially on mainland tourists, when the personal travel scheme was released. Not like Singapore that has developed independent electronic industries, which exempts it from getting the majority of GDP from tourism, Hong Kong is stepping into this economic pattern deeper and deeper.

Now the milk formula in the city is getting out of stock.

Public Housing in Hong Kong

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Wong Bing-mei immigrated to HK from Fujian, China in the 1970s; it has been nearly 40 years since she rooted her life in this City. During three decades, she and her family once lived in a 500-feet-government-subsized flat in Siu Sai Wan, Hong Kong Eastern District; since 2008, they quit leasing the public rental flat and bought another flat also subsidized by the government in the Eastern.

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One Day

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Awake in a room beside a narrow brook one morning, I put T-shirt and pants on my body, a pair of sandal on my feet. With my backpack and sunglasses, I start my day in Damnoen Saduak, about 100 kilometres away from Bangkok, when the hot season just begins in March.

Not far from the room that I rent near the brook, a rice noodle booth stands beside the lane. The lady who owns the booth waves to me as I am walking closer and closer like every other morning I did.

“One bowl of rice noodle, one cup of coke full of ice cubes as always, please!” This is my routine menu for breakfast; the booth lady can cook it for me in less than 5 minutes. A simple breakfast electrifies my day at the beginning.

floating market, courtesy to internet.

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「洪水警報」在線地圖

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衆所周知,英國是一個多降雨的國家,而暴雨又常常引發洪水。爲了讓英國民衆能及時掌握到洪水大小、發生地點和危險程度,以避免人員傷亡,一款實時洪水預警地圖「洪水警報」(The Flood Alerts Map)應運而生。該地圖上線後4小時內已突破10萬次點擊。

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極客:聰明是一種性感

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「極客」一詞是從英文單詞Geek音譯而來,本來是指一群聰明超群、掌握尖端科技、對某個領域涉獵頗深的知識分子或學者。但在中國大陸,網友給極客取了另一個形象的稱謂:技術宅,以形容他們走在科學、技術前沿,時刻待在電腦前,熱愛用網絡與人打交道。在Web2.0時代,極客人群在中國大陸也日趨壯大,並發展出特有的極客文化,諸多極客網站應運而生。

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僭建風雲Ⅱ之二次再創作

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繼2012年初,唐英年「地下皇宮」全城鬧爆因此輸掉特首選舉後,離上任不到一個月的香港候任特首梁振英也被踢爆,其位於山頂的豪宅涉及6處僭建。熱血的香港記者們再次挂上吊車將梁宅拍透。由「雙英」(唐英年、梁振英)主演的這齣「僭建風雲」也激起了香港網友二次創作的高潮。

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